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Egyptian bank says lining up first IPOs since Mubarak era

EFG Hermes plans three IPO worth $300 million in 2014 that would be the first since January 2011 revolution

Reuters, Tuesday 28 Jan 2014
EFG-Hermes
People exit the new headquarters of Egypt-based investment bank EFG-Hermes, on the outskirts of Cairo, October 19, 2010 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's largest investment bank said it is lining up share flotations for three firms worth a combined $300 million-plus this year, the first on the Cairo exchange since before the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
 
EFG Hermes' co-chief executive officer Karim Awad told financial newspaper Al-Mal the planned IPOs, announced following sharp recent gains by Egypt's stock market, would include a listing for Egypt-based Arabian Cement Company.
 
The last IPO on the Egyptian exchange was in 2010.
 
Since then, the country's capital markets have been crippled by the political unrest that followed Mubarak's fall in February 2011.
 
Tensions between the army-backed government and Islamist militants have spiked in recent days, and gunmen assassinated a senior Interior Ministry official, General Mohamed Said, outside his Cairo home on Tuesday.
 
But stock market investors have paid little attention to the spiralling violence, seeing signs of economic and political stabilisation since this month's referendum approving a new constitution, which has cleared the way for presidential and parliamentary elections.
 
Egypt's stock exchange has risen by more than 45 percent since the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July following mass protests against his rule.
 
In a bid to boost trading and attract further investment, Egypt's financial regulator will implement new regulations for companies listed on the bourse next month.
 
"The IPOs will hopefully happen this year", EFG Hermes' Awad told Reuters by email. "The exact timing in the year will be agreed with the companies who are undertaking the IPOs and considering the state of the financial markets."
 
He declined to give details of the two companies other than Arabian Cement.
 
EFG Hermes shares were up by 3.7 percent on Tuesday to trade at 11.25 Egyptian pounds ($1.62) at 1100 GMT.
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